Students honored for outreach service

By Sharon Kolankiewicz
April 21, 2005

Jess Web

Last Thursday, students were honored for their participation in community and outreach service throughout the year at the 3rd annual Community Engagement and Outreach (CEO) Banquet. The ceremony recognized students and organizations for their leadership in various service projects.

Some of the organizations that were honored included, Up ‘Til Dawn, CAP Board, Habitat for Humanity, WYBF and other various organizations.

New organizations were honored, such as the WOLF Pack, which is a freshmen-run group that participated in social activities with outreach to children from Norristown and Iraq.

The honorees were recognized for organizing voter registration drives, selling blue wristbands for tsunami relief efforts and linking the campus community through an immigrant advocacy group. Individual awards were given to students who displayed leadership throughout the year. Individuals who were recognized included the Pierce scholars, leaders of the New York City Cabrini Immersion trip, the leaders of Project Appalachia and volunteers at Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

The awards banquet was sponsored by the Wolfington Center, under the supervision of Dr. Mary Laver and student leader Matt Grzeskowiak. The event coordination was provided by Dr. Angela Corbo’s organizational communication course. The main theme was “Cabrini and Hearts and Hands in Solidarity with The World.” Laver started off the event by talking about how students’ service projects reflected Catholic Social Teachings, including human dignity, solidarity and social justice. There was also a time of reflection on Pope John Paul II’s journey towards peace and justice.

Alumna Renee DiPietro spoke at the event. DiPietro graduated from Cabrini in 2003 and was highly involved with service. She is now involved with “City Year,” which devotes time to volunteering in inner-city schools. She spoke passionately about the importance of volunteering, social justice and community service.

Laver expressed how she is extremely pleased with how proactive the students have been this year in community service.

“I’m really glad to see that Cabrini students ‘get it,’ and that everybody has a talent,” Laver said. She also is impressed at how many groups have started their own community service projects such as the radio station, roller hockey club and some of the RAs who linked service and advocacy with the Cabrini community. Another new group, “Roots and Shoots,” was recognized for promoting environmental education on-and off-campus.

Junior Maureen Cooper, who participated in Big Brothers/Big Sisters, feels honored to volunteer.

“Helping people, especially children, is a great feeling, and it is self-rewarding,” Cooper said.

Laver believes that it is refreshing to see the younger generation portrayed in a more positive light. She agrees that there is so much negative media on the younger generation, but events such as the CEO banquet show how there are young people trying to make a difference. “There were 12 individual honorees and five student organizations honored in 2003, the first year of the CEO event; 34 student individuals and 25 groups were honored this year. I can’t help but be impressed with that growth,” Laver said.

The ceremony concluded with a touching presentation by freshman Adam Poresky. Poresky presented a slide show showing his experience in Indonesia, his home country, after the tsunami hit and left damage. He spent his spring break in Indonesia helping the people who were hit; he spent most of his time with children at a local orphanage. His concluding presentation left everyone realizing the importance of human dignity and reaching out to help others.

Posted to the web by Shawn Rice

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Sharon Kolankiewicz

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